June 25, 2012

South Burnett tourism operators will welcome today’s announcement by the RACQ that it will launch a major marketing campaign in August to help turbo-charge Queensland’s “drive tourism” industry.

RACQ Group CEO Ian Gillespie said the campaign, “Bring Back the Road Trip”, would be aimed at encouraging more Queenslanders to holiday at home.

He said the Queensland day trip market, the vast majority of which was by car, was worth $3.3 billion to the State’s annual economy, and represented 36.2 million visitors.

The total value of domestic tourism to Queensland was more than $13 billion annually, compared with $3.8 billion for the international market.

However, he said the tourism industry was still suffering from the aftermath of last year’s floods and cyclones and more needed to be done to promote the State’s attractions to Queenslanders and other Australians.

The RACQ announcement coincides with the DestinationQ meeting which begins in Cairns today.

This is a meeting of the State Government’s joint taskforce which has been formed to get the tourism industry back on track. It includes MPs, public servants, council representatives, Tourism Queensland, industry associations and operators, and regional tourism organisations.

Mr Gillespie said the RACQ was making the announcement at the start of the two-day summit to demonstrate its commitment to drive tourism – and to inspire other key groups to put more focus and resources into the local market as this would provide a more immediate return for the State’s tourism industry.

“We will be encouraging the State Government and other tourism groups to refocus their efforts on the domestic market, particularly the drive tourism sector, given its importance to Queensland,” Mr Gillespie said.

“The RACQ has been involved in drive tourism since its formation in 1905, when one of its key functions was to lobby for road signage so the State’s pioneering motorists could find their way around. This helped to open up Queensland to those early motorists who wanted to drive for the pure pleasure of it, and we still fulfil that role today.

“One of our core benefits for members is providing free maps but now we also provide many other services including road condition reports and an online trip planner, along with the confidence of knowing that if they break down we’re there to help.”

Mr Gillespie said the RACQ’s campaign would be launched in August and would involve television, radio, newspaper and social media.

As well, special features would be run over the next four editions of the Club’s bi-monthly member magazine, The Road Ahead, which has a circulation of almost one million.

A new website bringing together the RACQ’s many drive tourism-related services, including a new virtual tourism information centre, would also be launched in August.

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